Hope and Change.

Eight years ago, I became very engaged in an effort to convince people that Barack Obama wasn’t what he purported to be. His orations were mesmerizing. People loved the “hope” part of his message without thinking about what the “change” part might mean. I was frustrated that those who supported him did not seem to care what his background and record seemed to indicate. But after he won the election, I stopped my railings and determined to hope for the best and support whatever good he managed to do.

I don’t want to rehash his presidency. I would simply say that many people, myself included, feel that our country is heading in a dangerous direction and that his leadership has not been what we would have hoped for.

But aside from all of that, I believe that the worst thing we’ve seen during the Obama administration has been his disregard for the principles in our Constitution. When he says he has “a phone and a pen” and that he intends to use them – every time he signs an executive order to implement a policy that has no support in Congress – he disrespects our Constitution, our representative government, and our constitutionally guaranteed rights. His message appears to be that we (the people) don’t know what is best for our nation or for our communities and that only he is in a position to make those judgments! He makes himself the ruling monarch. I don’t know about you, but that frightens me. Benevolent kings have been a very rare exception in the history of our world.

The “New” Hope and Change..?

So why am I bringing all of this up now? Simply because I see a very real chance that we are about to repeat the same mistake. The cast of characters has changed and even the political party has changed but once again we have a man who is saying what a lot of people want to hear and the masses are jumping on the bandwagon. What about his background? Who cares? What about his track record? Who cares? He is promising to make America great again! That’s all that matters! Right??

Greatness in a Leader.

We are not in high school anymore and we’re not electing a student body president. Making America great again (or getting us back on course) is going to take leadership with great wisdom, integrity and courage. Making America great again is going to take a statesman who can rally us and unite us behind good principles – regardless of our race, religion, or political party. Making America great again is going to take great self-discipline on the part of our leaders and on the part of each of us. Making America great again is going to take great compassion and a willingness to tackle the real problems in our society in a way that might actually solve them – rather than creating a red herring solution that merely allows politicians to look like they’re doing something about the problem.

Are we up for it? Is our candidate up for it? Are we willing to pause and honestly consider our candidate with those requirements in mind? I hope so. I would like to see my children and grandchildren have the same or even better opportunities than I’ve had. I would like to see our nation regain its self-respect and the respect of the world.

Most of all, I believe the Constitution to be an inspired document that has been the foundation of virtually everything good that this nation has accomplished, and in spite of some glaring mistakes, those accomplishments are remarkable. I want a president that “will to the best of [his/her] ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That is the oath they take. Are they people of their word?

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